Learn how to make Chenna Cheese at home with this simple step by step tutorial – use this milk cheese for a variety of dishes!
Chenna or Chhenna or Chhanna… differently spelled, but refers to a cheese obtained by curdling milk – similar to that of making homemade Paneer. It is a fresh, unripened cheese make from whole milk that looks crumbly and forms the perfect base for many Indian desserts. It is similar to Ricotta cheese and much softer than paneer.
Not much is required to make Chenna at home, except a few basic but important ingredients. First, the right kind of MILK. Full fat whole milk (preferably buffalo’s) works the best for this cheese. But you can make do with most milks, if you aren’t too particular about the richness of the cheese. Secondly, you need to use something to curdle the milk. You can use lemon juice, citric acid, vinegar or even some kind of yogurt. I’ve always found lemon juice to work the best. Just use enough to separate the milk particles from the whey. Once you’ve got that figured, you only have to filter and squeeze out extra water.
How to make Chenna Cheese at home – Printable Recipe
- 1 liter (34 ounces) Full Fat Milk (preferably non-homogenized milk)
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice / Citric Acid Crystals / Vinegar or 1 teaspoon plain Yogurt
- ¼ cup Warm water
- Dissolve the citric acid or lemon juice in 1/34 cup of warm water and keep aside.
- Bring the milk to a boil in a pan, while stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the fire and stir for 2 to 3 minutes till the milk is slightly cool.
- Add the citric acid / lemon juice / vinegar solution little by little while stirring gently.
- Keep stirring until the milk particles have completely separated from the whey (greenish liquid). - The milk will curdle and the whey will separate. The whey has to be clear thus indicating the milk has completely curdled.
- Strain all the whey using a clean damp muslin cloth. Run it under tap water to wash off any flavor of lemon juice / vinegar.
- Gather the cloth from all 4 sides and squeeze the chenna lightly about 3 to 4 times so that most of the whey gets drained out.
- Remove the chenna cheese on a clean plate and knead gently until it is free of lumps. Take care not to apply too much pressure while kneading the cheese.
- Use as required.
- Use the same day. DO not refrigerate.
How to make Chenna Cheese at home – Tutorial
To 1/4 cup warm water, mix lemon juice / citric acid / vinegar. Simultaneously, bring the milk to a boil and switch off the flame.
Add the solution to the milk slowly stirring gently.
You’ll start to see the milk curdle. Keep stirring until the milk is completely separated from the whey. Line a sieve with a clean kitchen towel and pass the entire mixture through it. Also wash the cheese under tap water once or twice to remove the flavor of lemon juice / vinegar.
Bring the cloth together and gently squeeze out the water 4-5 times. Don’t squeeze too hard. But squeeze enough times to filter out as much water as possible.
Knead the cheese with your palms for 3-4 minutes. As you start kneading you’ll feel the texture of the cheese softening. Once your fingers start to feel slightly oily, you can stop.
Here’s fresh Chenna Cheese!!! Use as required!